Cape Girardeau County, Missouri

Cape Girardeau County is a county located in the U.S. state of Missouri. As of 2000, the population was 68,693. Its county seat is Jackson. The county was organized in 1818 and the name derives from a district located in the area when the Spanish controlled the region.

Cape Girardeau is part of the Cape Girardeau–Jackson, MO-IL Micropolitan Statistical Area.

Origin of name

The Cape in the county name was a rock promontory overlooking the Mississippi River, named after Ensign Sieur Jean Baptiste de Girardot (also spelled Girardeau or Girardat). Girardeau built a trading post at this location in about 1733; he was a soldier stationed at Kaskaskia 1704-1720. The original cape rock was destroyed by railroad construction.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 586 square miles (1,518 km²), of which, 579 square miles (1,499 km²) of it is land and 8 square miles (20 km²) of it (1.31%) is water.

Adjacent counties

Major highways


As of the census of 2000, there were 68,693 people, 26,980 households, and 17,941 families residing in the county. The population density was 119 people per square mile (46/km²). There were 29,434 housing units at an average density of 51 per square mile (20/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 92.13% White, 5.28% Black or African American, 0.36% Native American, 0.75% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.31% from other races, and 1.15% from two or more races. 0.91% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 26,980 households out of which 31.20% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.80% were married couples living together, 9.80% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.50% were non-families. 27.30% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.10% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.42 and the average family size was 2.96.

In the county the population was spread out with 23.40% under the age of 18, 13.40% from 18 to 24, 27.80% from 25 to 44, 21.60% from 45 to 64, and 13.80% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 93.20 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.00 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $36,458, and the median income for a family was $45,518. Males had a median income of $32,371 versus $20,833 for females. The per capita income for the county was $18,593. About 6.70% of families and 11.10% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.40% of those under age 18 and 10.10% of those age 65 or over.

2005 census estimates placed the Latino population of the county at 1.2%. Non-Hispanic whites constituted 90.6% of the population. African-Americans were now 5.9% of the population, with people reporting two or more races holding steady at 1.1% this indicates the growth in other groups was from real change and not identification reassesment as in some places. Asians now constituted a full 1% of the population.

Cities and towns



Unincorporated towns


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